|From:||Danny Wier <dawier@...>|
|Date:||Sunday, March 24, 2002, 7:17|
My five-minute conlang.
This is the language of the Trolls (species _homo erectus_ still surviving),
which they call LANKA (the best way a Troll can say "language").
First, the history. The Trolls didn't really have a language until an eccentric
Jesuit, a Cajun from Beaumont, Texas, got on the wrong ship and ended up in
Antarctica. Miraculously, he lived long enough to start a small church and teach
the Trolls a language which turned out to be a mix of English, French, German
and Spanish. So there's your vocabulary right there -- only greatly simplified.
Now the alphabet and phonology. It's taken from the basic phonemes of Japanese,
but you probably notice that already.
A I U E O / K S T N P M Y L W
Each of these can be short or long (i.e. doubled), but the only legal consonant
clusters are either a nasal + consonant (and the nasal is homogenous with the
following consonant) or a consonant + the same consonant. Long vowels can only
occur in closed syllables; vowels in open syllables are automatically long
though written single. The voiceless consonants have voiced allophones when
between vowels or before nasals; when initial or doubled, they are voiceless.
Also, S is pronounced variously (from individual Troll to another) [s], [S],
[ts] or [tS]. They really can't tell the difference so all values are
legitimate. When voiced, they can be [z], [Z], [dz] or [dZ]. An increasing
practice of writing a C instead of an S seems to be more popular (I speak in a
timeframe of 40+ years in the future). Some also pronounce /l/ like an /r/, at
least intervocally, and a /k/ > /h/ or /p/ > /f/ shift may be found here and
Notice that Trolls only write in capital letters.
Now the grammar. If there is much of one to begin with. Strict SVO word order,
no noun cases, all verb forms are same for all persons and numbers, no genders,
no "-(e)s" marked plurals, no real verb tense (auxilliary verbs are used to
indicate aspect or adverbs for time like "tomorrow"), pure decimal number system
(no "quatre-vingt" situations), no irregularities, the verb "to be" only used as
copula -- in fact, no bound morphemes at all! Even ordinal numbers are formed
from using additive words: the preposition TE "of" is used (e.g. TE TU "second",
TE TILI "third").
Now the most novice of all vocabularies: numbers....
ON, TU, TILI, KATA, PIPU, SISU, SETE, ETO, NOPE, TISU
Teens are TISU ON, TISU TU, TISU TILI etc. Multiples of ten are ON TISU, TU
TISU, TILI TISU, etc. Hundred is SENTO, thousand is MILI -- but there doesn't
seem to be a set way to express any numbers above 9,999. Fractions of the format
X/Y are expressed as "X of Y", thus (ON) TE TU "(one) half", TU TE TILI
"two-thirds", (ON) TE KATA "(one) quarter"....
Vocabulary and usage varies greatly among the estimated 6,000-10,000 Trolls
living in Antarctica, to which they were banished as they didn't really fit into
human society. Though forced into desperate measures, Trolls aren't violent by
nature, just simple. But they're far more known for brute strength than
intellect, for which humanity is party to blame.